I absolutely love the history of baseball. Whether it’s stats, trades, historical milestones, you name it, I read about it. Websites like baseball-reference.com are often referred to as my “late night reading”. If you’re reading this blog, you already know my love for the game. But within this love for the game, I want to spread the word, share the wealth, and include you too.
I’ve talked at length before on how many of my friends don’t really give a hoot about baseball, so it’s always nice to turn to all of you (how nerdy does that sound?) and share something I felt was worthwhile and a conversational piece for another time in-person, online, wherever.
August 4th is one of those days I have circled on my notepad as more of a historical day during the season than most. And while I was highlighting through notes for future work use (and of course Twitter!), I decided I wanted to share. Now sure, you can find these more in-depth all over the internet but I thought it would be cool to showcase some here on my blog.
Let’s get right after it.
8/4/1964 – Reds manager Fred Hutchinson returns to manage the team after a hiatus from July 27th to August 4th. Hutchinson would then only go on to manage the team until August 13th; it would sadly be his last game. He was forced to step down due to ongoing health concerns. Fred Hutchinson died of chest cancer at the age of 45 on November 12th of that year. He is a true Seattle baseball pioneer and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is amazing. Please Google it for more info. It’s a great cause.
8/4/1979 – Ruppert Jones hit a foul ball in The Kingdome that never came back down! Reports say it was lodged in a speaker above the first base dugout and was never seen again. One of many quirky things about the stadium that happened throughout the years. I wish I could find Dave Niehaus’ call for this play.
8/4/1989 – Dave Stieb retires the first 26 batters he faces before giving up two hits. The year before, Stieb had similar bad luck… twice! If you can imagine this (and I had to double check it), Stieb threw back-to-back games where he lost his no-no with two outs in the 9th inning. Wow…
8/4/1994 – In his final year (and only season with the Mariners), Goose Gossage appears in his 1,000th major league game on the mound. This amazing accomplishment made him only the 3rd pitcher to ever reach that milestone. (Hoyt Wilhelm and Kent Tekulve)
8/4/1998 – Darryl Strawberry hit a pinch-hit grand slam in an unreal Yankees 9-run 9th inning. Strawberry still had a little pop left in his bat and he won a ring with the Yanks, but when I think of him, I think “what if?”. It was sad his career was derailed with off-the-field problems. Growing up in the late 80’s, you knew he was a STAR.
8/4/2007 – Alex Rodriguez surpasses Jimmie Foxx as the youngest player to hit 500 home runs. Quite an amazing feat, but I can’t support the guy personally for a long list of reasons.
8/4/2010 – Alex Rodriguez hits the 600th bomb of his career. The accolades kept on rolling for this guy. He became the youngest player to reach 600. And for what it’s worth, asterisk or not, he became only the 7th player to hit the milestone.
8/4/2010 – The Phillies acquired 1B Mike Sweeney from the Mariners. Sweeney had some good games, threatened to beat up the person who called out Ken Griffey Jr. for “Napgate” and was known for what seemed like constant hugging. Good deal for him, he reached the postseason for the first time in his career and retired after the season.